Many of us collect and hoard an outrageous amount of stuff especially if we haven’t moved house in a while. It really makes sense to declutter your home alongside the packing. Ideally both should start several weeks before move date. Mine started around six weeks before and it really wasn’t a long time when I got stuck in.
It works well to set yourself goals each day or week on the packing and decluttering. I approached mine room by room allowing roughly a room per week. I started with an easy room (a quick win to keep my spirits up) and then followed it with a dreaded room (in my house the cellar and the garage). To recover from the horrors of the cellar I then did another easy room the following week.
In each room I went through every item and put it on one side of the room if it was coming with me, and the other side of the room if it wasn’t. The things that were being moved could then be packed up easily. Seeing everything packed, stacked and ready to go provides a great visual representation of progress and this helps with motivation enormously. The clutter side of the room, well…… let’s deal with that later.
Making decisions when you start to declutter your home is really hard. I actually had a third pile in the middle of each room that I struggled to make my mind up about. This was the ‘maybe’ pile. I then had to ask myself a series of questions. When did I last use this? Am I likely to use it again? What would I miss about this object if it wasn’t here? Is there someone else who would benefit from this more than me?
If I was still struggling after those series of questions I found it helped to think about the new space I was moving into. Not only was it smaller than my current house, I saw my new home as a new start and a new life. Did this object have a place in my new home and indeed, in my new life? I tried to think about where the object might go. If it had no real sentimental value and was destined for a box in the attic for the next few years, I understood it was clutter and needed to go in the clutter pile.
When the clutter piles had started to take shape, I then moved them together into a spare room in the house 香港搬運公司 where I started phase two of my mission: dealing with the clutter. I basically started sorting everything into four piles depending on what I would do with them next: sell, reuse, recycle and bin.
Selling is the most time consuming but the most beneficial. Not only do objects get reused, you can make some money from them also. I put my things on Ebay, Amazon and in the local admag paper, Loot. I also emailed colleagues at work, plus put cards up in the local newsagent and supermarket. I managed to shift my better quality items this way and made some welcome money in the process. It is a bit daunting at first and seems like a lot of hard work, especially when you have plenty of other things to do with packing and moving anyway, but after the first couple of sales it seems easier and can give you a buzz.
I also put items for others to reuse on a couple of Freegle sites, gave items to friends and family (using Facebook to let people know), and gave things to the local charity shops. For items that were at the end of their lifespan or unsaleable/non reusable for whatever reason, I put them in a recycle pile, and then the remaining items in a pile for the bin and tip.
I hated looking at the items for the bin as I despise landfill and waste. One thing I learned during my declutter is to really think about my purchases carefully in the future and ask the following questions. Is it something I really need? Is it good quality so it will likely last a long time? Is there a more sustainable alternative? I have decided that having less stuff and having better quality stuff helps you appreciate what you have much more.
When it came to move day, I still had more stuff than I would have liked and as it has come to unpacking at the new house, there are still items that have ended up in the box in the attic. But it wasn’t a huge amount and overall the exercise was really successful both practically and psychologically; getting rid of lots of unwanted and unneeded items is a big weight off your mind.
And the key thing I’ve realised: it is best to declutter your home on a fairly regular basis to avoid such a major task before moving. Will I heed my own advice? I’ll let you know when I’ve recovered.